Many, if not most, of the brides we talk to choose white dishes for their wedding registry. And while we love the clean look and design of our vendors that select the snowy hue, we wonder how this aesthetic has come to reign in major popularity. From all white kitchens to everything white in a table setting, we have to ask:
What’s with all the white?
Perhaps white is the new “little black dress.” Fail-safe, foolproof, and looks great on everybody.
Grace Bonney, founder, editor, and writer of Design*Sponge (a site named as the “Martha Stewart Living for the Millennials” by the New York Times), had some interesting observations on the white overtake of design in the home in her article, The White Wall Controversy: How the All-White Aesthetic has Affected Design.
Grace states that ideas abound online, and we agree, the amount of “inspiration” on social and design portfolio sites like Pinterest, Houzz, and Instagram can get a little overwhelming for the brainstorming consumer.
“With all those ideas, sometimes it’s easy to get lost in options and the simplest thing feels the safest and most realistic,” explains Grace. “Hence, white walls with an emphasis on furniture and art that can easily be moved and changed without a lot of work.”
This is where a “style guide” comes into play, if you’re hesitant to go down a road with a variety of hues. However, we’re not talking about more infographics or beautiful imagery, strategically bundled into a specific style. What you need is some one-on-one interaction with a human being who can draw out your personality and preferences, creating a tangible expression of your own unique style.
Psychologically, we seem to associate the color white with a sense of freshness and virtue, according to Dr. Peter Stewart, assistant professor of psychology at the Grenfell Campus at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada. Stewart conducted an experiment that explored how people perceived the taste of cheesecake on white plates, compared to black plates.
“The colour white has implicit associations with feelings of purity, brightness, or possibly cleanliness (among many other things I suspect) and this can lead to a priming effect of sorts”
Yet, we find using color strategically in décor and tableware can bring new life to a home, without losing that feeling of tidiness.
“Half the battle is opening up a conversation to explore what colors they resonate with,” comments Linda McFadden, owner of Past Basket Milwaukee. “It’s what we’re all about in our brick and mortar store – engaging in conversation to find out how our customers entertain so we can equip them with items for their home so they can carve out their own legacy.”